Tales of love, loss, and betrayal are at the heart of When It Happens to You, the debut story collection from actress and author Molly Ringwald.
A Hollywood icon, Ringwald defined the teenage experience in the eighties in such classic films as Pretty in Pink, The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. Now the star of ABC Family’s hit series, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and author of the bestselling memoir Getting the Pretty Back, Ringwald brings that same compelling candor she displayed in her film roles to the unforgettable characters she has created in this series of linked stories about the particular challenges, joys, and disappointments of adult relationships.
Here are stories that grapple with infertility and infidelity, fame and familial discord, in a magnificent collection that will resonate broadly with readers—from fans of Melissa Banks to Meg Wolitzer to Lorrie Moore.
This "novel in stories" is set in the L.A. you see on television, the one where everyone is somehow connected to everyone else. Stories or titled chapters center on Phillip and Greta, who have a daughter, fertility issues, and a marriage going sour, but we also meet people whose lives touch Greta's and Phillip's in a variety of ways, like their much older neighbor; a mother at their daughter's school; and a semi-washed up actor, his twin sister, and her French boyfriend. In many ways Ringwald (Getting the Pretty Back, a memoir) knows of what she speaks, having spent many years in the '80s as a fixture of the Brat Pack, and she has the mechanics of writing down, but you can hear the gears grinding; the stories are often exposition heavy, the characters seem more defined by their situations than their idiosyncratic histories, and things tend to resolve a little too tidily, even when the point is the continuing messiness of relationships. As a result, this debut work of fiction, which reads well, never gets traction in your mind. It's probably best seen as an example of one of celebrity's mixed blessings: your name gets you in the door but your apprenticeship takes place in public.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This is a stunning book
I really loved this book. I couldn't put it down. The characters pulled me in from beginning to end. The theme of betrayal, in all its unsundry manefestations in these people's live, was finely wrought in searingly honest and authentic depictions. These interwoven stories were entertaining, engaging and poignant without being morose. The way the author explored loss and redemption was inspirational. All that and the writing is superb-wow. Cannot wait for Molly R's next book.
An intertwined story of lives which every one can identify with on many levels. Thoroughly enjoyed this book!
Good, easy read
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I loved the characters and the in depth descriptions of their actions. I also loved the feelings that are described in the characters' thoughts. Very well done :)